Grant of Hampshire to Capt. John Mason, 7th of Novemr., 1629

This Indenture made ye Seaventh day of Novembr Anno Domini 1629 & in ye Fifth yeeare of ye Reigne of our Soveraigne Lord Charles by ye Grace of God King of England Scotland France & Ireland Defender of the ffaith &c Between ye President & Councell of new England on the one partie & Capt John Mason of London Esqr on ye other partie Witinesseth yt whereas our late Soveraigne Lord of ffaimous Memory King James for ye makeing a Plantation & estahlishing of a Colony or Colonyes in the Countrey called or knowen by ye name of New England in America did his Highness letters patents under ye greate Seale of England bearing date att Westminster ye third day of Novembr

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I am the supreme law of the United States. Originally comprising seven articles, I delineate the national frame of government. My first three articles entrench the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress; the executive, consisting of the President; and the judicial, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts. Articles Four, Five and Six entrench concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments and of the states in relationship to the federal government. Article Seven establishes the procedure subsequently used by the thirteen States to ratify it. I am regarded as the oldest written and codified constitution in force of the world.

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